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THE NYMPHS.

"A little drop of water does remove
And keep him from the object of his love."
"My love does vainly on myself return,
And fans the cruel flames with which I burn.
The thing desir'd I still about me bore,
And too much plenty has confirm'd me poor.
O that I from my much loved self could go!
A strange request, yet would to God 't were so."

115

Obs.-The word nymph is derived from lymph, ́ water, or from the Phoenician word nephas, soul. Before the system of Tartarus and Elysium was adopted, people believed that souls wandered about tombs, or in gardens and woods which they had loved while they were united with the body. Those places were religiously respected; and thence proceeded the custom of sacrificing to manes under green trees. Nymphs were charged to preside over them; and their numbers was immense.

QUESTIONS.

By what title are young virgins, who attend on celestial, terrestrial, and marine deities, distinguished?

What name is given to those nymphs who have empire over the woods?

What name is common to the nymphs who are born and expire with trees?

Whom do the mountains have for their rulers?

What nymphs have dominion over the air?

What nymphs preside over the groves and valleys?

What nymphs do the meadows and fields acknowledge for their protectors?

What appellation was given to the nymphs who took charge of the ash?

By what nymphs are the fountains governed?

By what name are the nymphs of the rivers distinguished?
Who inhabit the lakes and ponds?

Under what denomination do Hesiod, Homer, and Pindar, make Neptune the captain of fifty nymphs?

Who were the nymphs of Apollo?

By what names were the nymphs of Bacchus called?

Whom had Diana for her attendants?

What sea nymphs attended upon Tethys?

Who was Echo?

Why did Juno strike her speechless?

What youth in the woods did Echo see, love, follow, and embrace? Was the grief of Echo ́great?

Into what flower was Narcissus at length turned?

CHAPTER VII.

olus.

EOLUS, the god of the winds and tempests, is usually supposed to have been the son of Jupiter, by Acesta or Sergesta, the daughter of Hippotus.

Eolus is represented as shutting up the winds in a vast rocky cavern, and occasionally letting them loose. over the world. When Ulysses was returning home from Troy, Æolus gave him all the winds confined in a bag that he might thereby have power to resist all obstacles to his voyage.

On coming within sight of the place of his destination, the companions of Ulysses, supposing that the bag was full of money, untied it. The winds rushed out with great violence, and blew him back many a weary league, and thus greatly protracted his voyage home.

The Winds are fabled to have been the sons of Aurora and Astræus, one of the giants who waged war with the gods. They were the attendants or secretaries of Œolus. Their names were Boreas, who had empire over the north-wind; Eurus, over the eastwind; Auster, over the south-wind; and Zephyrus, over the west-wind.

Boreas, wishing to marry Orythia, daughter of Erechtheus, king of Athens, was refused by that prince. He therefore blew her away, and carried her to Thrace; where he had by her two sons, Calais and Zethes.

Boreas, having metamorphosed himself into a horse, gave birth to twelve colts of such swiftness, that they ran on the water without sinking, and over the ears of corn without bending them. This allegorically represents the swiftness of the winds.

Virgil thus beautifully describes Juno's visit to Æolus:
"Thus rag'd the goddess, and with fury fraught,
The restless regions of the storms she sought,
Where, in a spacious cave of living stone,
The tyrant Æolus, from his airy throne,

EOLUS.

With pow'r imperial curbs the struggling winds,
And sounding tempests in dark prisons binds.
This way and that, th' impatient captives tend,
And, pressing for release, the mountains rend.
High in this hall th' undaunted monarch stands,
And shakes his sceptre, and their rage commands;
Which did he not, their unresisted sway

Would sweep the world before them in their way:
Earth, air and seas, through empty space would roll,
And heav'n would fly before the driving soul.
In fear of this the father of the gods
Confined their fury to these dark abodes,

And locked them safe, oppress'd with mountain loads;
Impos'd a king with arbitrary sway,

To loose their fetters, or their force allay."

117

Obs. The deification of the wind, proceeded from the great veneration with which the ancients, during the Trojan war, held Eolus, king of the Æolian islands, (at that time called the Vulcanian, now called Lipari) on account of his uncommon skill and divine accuracy, in calculating when and from what points the wind would blow. This knowledge he acquired by closely observing the direction in which the smoke of the volcanoes was sent by the winds.

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What followed?

Who were the Winds?

Whom did Boreas marry?

What did Boreas produce, when he became a horse?

PART III.

OF THE TERRESTRIAL DEITIES.

THE Confused and feeble recollections of sacred tradition, were not sufficient to bring man back to a knowledge of the true God. Strength, number, and address, secured him the dominion of the earth; but he enjoyed it without gratitude, and thought of nothing but gratifying his wants and passions. Though his pride was great, he acknowledged that he could not command the elements, and that, having unceasingly withstood the dangers which threatened his life, he was in need of assistance and protection. His sorrows, his fears, and necessities, seem to have forced him to believe that there was a power superior to his own. He therefore submits to implore that Being; but he presumptuously thinks he has the right of attaching value to his homage; and, consequently, of bringing him under obligation to watch over his necessities, and to relieve his wants.

But the idea of one God supreme, universal, and the dispenser of all blessings, was a conception too grand to enter his mind. He therefore divides his functions, and distributes his power, among a multiplicity of gods: and bowing down to the divinities of his imagination, he vainly hopes that, by offering numerous sacrifices, he can purchase the pardon of his sins, and the indulgence of his passions and desires.

Thus man blindly and madly went on, continually increasing the number of the gods of heaven, of the earth, of the seas, and of hell. The earth itself be

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came a divinity. Woods, harvests, gardens, meadows, countries, had divine protectors. Houses had their gods, Lares and Penates, and each of them his honours, offices, and worship. At first, the gods were considered as beings invisible and superior to human nature; but some men having distinguished themselves by the cultivation of fields and gardens, or by some useful invention, their names were given to those unknown divinities, and often the divinity and the mortal became confounded together. They counted twelve of the first order, which were called Consentes. These differed from the twelve great gods, of whom we have previously spoken.

Jupiter and Terra were the first two. The Sun and the Moon which so materially influence crops and vegetation, were the second two. Ceres, the goddess of corn, and Bacchus, the god of wine, were the third; and Robigus and Flora, were the fourth. Robigus prevented fruits from being blighted, and watched over them to make them ripen: Flora watched over the birth of flowers. Minerva and Venus were the fifth. The former made olive-trees grow, and the latter presided over gardens. Finally, Water and Bonus Eventus were the sixth. The first, because, without it, the earth is dry and produces nothing; and the second, whose name signifies good success, watched to procure good crops. Such were the principal gods of the earth. Their functions and names prove that they owed their origin and the worship paid to them, to the want of their assistance, felt by those who contrived them.

CHAPTER I.
Demogorgon.

ALLEGORICALLY, Demogorgon represents the genius of the earth. No person, having great fear and veneration for his name, durst pronounce it in a high tone of voice. Philosophers considered this divinity as the

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